Slow Learner

Photo by: Alastair Forbes

“I’m still nervous about this,” said Peppermint. The four-foot tall elf looked around anxiously as they stood at the corner of a busy Chicago intersection.

“Don’t worry about Harrison,” said GoldLeaf confidently. He was a veteran of many elfin recon missions. “The magic of us elves is far more powerful than humans and their technology.”

“It’s not that,” said Peppermint. “It’s weird walking around in the open in the human world.”

“Not to worry. Humans just think we’re dwarves pretending to be elves. Besides, this is important work we do for Santa. He needs to know if Harrison has learned humility yet. Ooh! Here he comes!”

Morton Harrison scowled at the little people standing in his way at the crosswalk. He shoved GoldLeaf aside roughly. “Watch out, short stuff,” he growled.

“Sir!” protested GoldLeaf. “It’s Christmas! What about goodwill to all mankind?”

“I hate Christmas,” grated Harrison. “One Christmas I lost my car. The next, I lost my house. The last Christmas I lost my wife!” He held up his brief case. “If I don’t get this presentation to the office, I’ll lose my job. So you insignificant short-shits should stay the hell out of my way.”

GoldLeaf raised a menacing eyebrow. “Insignificant?” he repeated.

“As in pointless. No reason to exist,” added Harrison with a vicious smirk.

GoldLeaf waggled his fingers at the stop light. The ‘wait’ sign suddenly turned to a green ‘walk’ sign even though cars still streamed by. GoldLeaf pointed at the street light. “Look! We can can go now.”

Typical of Harrison, he didn’t bother to look…and he walked straight into onrushing traffic.

In Chicago, people are relatively kind. When drivers saw Harrison sprawling, trying to dodge cars, they simply kept going and ignored his precarious plight. In New York…they accelerate. One of the cars smashed into his briefcase. It cracked and his presentation flew away in the cold Chicago winds.

Peppermint sighed. “Think he’ll learn his lesson?”

GoldLeaf grinned. “Doubt it. He’s reliably pig-headed. That’s why I request this duty every year.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for the original prompt and many more stories for the week:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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22 Responses to Slow Learner

  1. Danny James says:

    Typical New York response.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joy Pixley says:

    Poor Harrison, I fear he’s never going to learn the connection between the horrible things he says to the short people and the horrible things that happen to him every Christmas. I mean, if he were going to start being nice spontaneously, presumably he would have done so already! He’ll just get more bitter and Scrooge-y until one day Goldleaf ends up putting him under the oncoming traffic instead of his briefcase. RIP Harrison, we barely knew ye.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I’m thinking GoldLeaf’s teaching methods are a little too vague for Harrison. He’s simply not making the connection. It may be time for GoldLeaf to spell it out for him or possibly draw some pictures. 😉 Then again, GoldLeaf may be enjoying his work a little too much. :\

      Liked by 1 person

  3. luckyjc007 says:

    Goldleaf has little confidence in Harrison learning his lesson, hence, Goldleaf must enjoy knocking Harrison around every year since he request the “duty” each year. Maybe if Harrison does lose his job, he will …hit bottom, and develop a bit of humility and that will change his life around. There’s always hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      There always is hope. It does seem GoldLeaf is enjoying giving “lessons” a little too much. GoldLeaf might want to be careful before someone teaches him a lesson! Meanwhile, if Harrison hits rock bottom, we can always hope he’ll finally learn some humility. 🙂


  4. List of X says:

    Harrison may be a jerk, but the punishments he’s getting (losing a wife, a house, and a job) are way too disproportionate, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      That scene with GoldLeaf is only the tip of the iceberg. A mere indication of his mindset. He’s done far worse than simply be rude. Still, GoldLeaf is pushing the envelope. His method of teaching is far too vague for Harrison to be effective. GoldLeaf is more like Harrison than he realizes.


      • List of X says:

        If these elves show up as dwarves every year, and every encounter with them ended badly for Harrison, one possible conclusion he could make is that dwarves bring him bad luck, which probably would make him even angrier at dwarves every year. Definitely a vague teaching method. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Lyn says:

    Oh dear, is it any wonder he lost his wife–he probably treated her the same. He probably didn’t pay his traffic fines (“Stupid cops, always picking on me”), His house? “Blasted banks! If they think I’m paying all this interest they’re mistaken.” Sadly, some people never learn. Maybe a flight over New York being held by one leg might wake him up. Maybe a few close calls with some sky scrapers or helicopters might get through to him…but I doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How sad that Harrison is such a grinch at Christmas. Sounds to me like he might have caused his bad luck from his ill will. Goldleaf and Peppermint are simply trying to show him the “magic” of Elves and Christmas but his grouchy mood blinds him from it. This is a great story Eric and has a wonderful moral!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. oooh sadistic little elf. No wonder poor Harrison hates Christmas. He’s onto a no winner

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Steve Lakey says:

    Maybe they both need to learn some respect for others! Nice story.

    Liked by 1 person

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